Interview skills

Ensure your stories shine by developing your interview skills.

Spine-tingling stories come about as a result of exceptional interviews. The power in a personal story is in hearing the person’s own unique voice sharing their experiences. It is the job of the interviewer to draw out an interviewee’s experiences in a way that will ensure a coherent impactful story that can be told in words or film.

It takes confidence to ask the difficult questions, empathy to support a person though the retelling of their experience, and the resilience to manage your own emotions when hearing challenging details. We offer two levels of our interview skills training course – ‘basic interview skills’ is an introduction to the core skills while ‘advanced interview skills’ supports those working on sensitive subject matters or in challenging environments.

Both courses can be delivered online or in the room but this course works particularly well in the room. Basic interview skills is a half-day course. Adding in the ‘advanced interview skills’ component increases it to six hours. For in-house groups the course will be tailor made to suit your organisation and the issues you work in.

Course content

Basic interview skills

  • What makes a good interview?
    We start the training by reviewing some interview transcripts. We will identify the most common mistakes in an interview and the things that mark out a great interview.
  • Planning your questions
    We share advice on how to plan for your interview. Delegates will then craft their own questions for a practical exercise.
  • Conducting your interview
    Tips for conducting a great interview, including choosing your location, building rapport and setting up your kit.
  • Practical exercise
    Delegates will work in pairs to practice interview skills.
  • After your interview
    What to do after an interview, including logging, backing up and transcribing.

Advanced interview skills

The advanced course covers all of the above, and goes on to explore in more detail the skills needed to handle highly sensitive subject matters. This includes how to navigate disclosure and safeguarding considerations, working with people with specific support needs (such as different communication abilities, learning disabilities and working through interpreters) and tips for dealing with particularly challenging situations.